my mom has been in bolivia – getting ready for the whole family to visit in about six weeks, did i tell you all about this yet? – for the past three weeks and after thanksgiving she’s heading back again. in the meantime, i’m taking care of the family house and though it’s been great to have so much free time to myself, it’s also really hard being in this big house all alone, especially one with so many memories.

so, this past weekend, i invited over a niece, jesse, to come over for her very first sleepover. we had a blast! pictures here, with some of my faves below. it’s amazing to me, still, how individual each niece and nephew are.. jesse just turned three but she’s such a little rebel, which you wouldn’t think at first, since she’s very much a quiet cuddler at times, especially compared to her siblings. like i’ll tell her, “you know you’re a sweetheart right, jesse?” and she’ll reply very shyly and sweetly, “uh-huh”, with eyes all twinkling up at you. it’s adorable. but now especially as she’s getting bigger, her sass and stubbornness is really coming through, and i love it. example 1: it was really hard to get pics without her sticking her tongue out to one side and making a face. example 2: i bought her, as a treat, a bag of lollipops and told her she could have two – she tricked me :) into giving her three more (i’m clearly a softie), and then grabbed another two when i wasn’t looking. the girl was up, and i mean up, until almost midnight. ah well, i can be the indulgent aunt, i have no problem with that.

that picture of her on the our horse shetan particularly got some attention from her siblings, who all insist now that it’s “their turn” to come over for a sleepover. i don’t mind! ;) also, the six (!) bird feeders we filled up are already half-empty with tons of jays, cardinals, chickadees, robins, and lots of other birds i don’t recognize (yet) flying around constantly. ok, well, i’m off to look through some cookbooks and clean up the kitchen a bit, before i head back to the library in a couple of hours. happy weekend (almost) ~ ~

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